London house prices: buy now to capitalise on the Christmas slowdown

With less than six weeks to go until Christmas, the property market is turning in favour of buyers...
As the housing market slows in the run-up to Christmas, now could be the perfect time for London's long-suffering first-time buyers and second steppers to secure their dream home.

The average asking price for a home in the capital has fallen by £10,184 over the last month, or 1.6 per cent, according to new figures published by Rightmove.

The drop has come about largely because sellers are keen to get sales wrapped up before Christmas and, with only six weeks to go, are willing to be more flexible to get the deal done. 

This is an annual trend - five out of the last six Novembers have seen falls in the price of homes coming to market, reveals the property search website.

Discover the cost of buying a home in every London borough


Buyers looking to capitalise on these favourable conditions could consider London's best-performing boroughs, where prices look set to rise beyond the festive season. 

With annual growth of 20 per cent, Newham in east London is the fastest-rising borough. Home to the 2012 Olympic Stadium - and due to become a high-speed train hotspot with the arrival of Crossrail in 2018 - Newham  now records an average asking price of £377,592. 

The borough of Barking and Dagenham lies approximately nine miles east of central London and offers 15-minute commutes to Fenchurch Street. With a price increase of 19.2 per cent, it has experienced similar growth to Newham and remains a favourite first-time buyer hotspot thanks to offering some of the cheapest house prices in London at an average of £274,957. 
 
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Now £295,000: this two-bedroom flat in Mitcham has been reduced by £30,000 in the run up to Christmas

Londoners looking for value are increasingly searching outside of central London, which is pushing up prices in outer London. Waltham Forest - home to Leyton, Chingford and Walthamstow  - is tipped to record growth of up to 20 per cent over the next five years, according to estate agent Savills. 

The need for value is also forcing many buyers to look outside London. "At £315,568 the average price of a property in the East of England is barely half of the London average, so in areas that are in commuting distance of London, or for people cashing in and moving out of the capital, it is very price-attractive,” says Rightmove director and analyst, Miles Shipside.

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